07.06 Phenytoin (Dilantin)

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Generic Name


Trade Name



tonic clonic seizures, arrhythmias, neuropathic pain


interferes with ion transport, shortens action potentials and decreases automaticity blocks sustained
high frequency repetitive firing of action potentials.

Therapeutic Class

antiarrhythmics, anticonvulsants

Pharmacologic Class


Nursing Considerations

• monitor serum phenytoin levels
• therapeutic levels 10-20 mcg/mL
• use cautiously in all patients
• can cause suicidal thoughts, ataxia, extrapyramidal symptoms, hypotension, tachycardia, arrhythmias, gingival hyperplasia, nausea, rash, drug induced hepatitis, agranulocytosis, Steven’s Johnson syndrome
• concurrent administration of enteral feedings may decrease absorption
• monitor for hypersensitivity
• assess seizures
• assess hemodynamics

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